Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 69, Providence Grove 55
By Megan Crotty
CLIMAX ó After the teams played to overtime earlier in the season when both were undefeated in the Central Carolina Conference, fans were packed in the Providence Grove High School gym Friday to see what would happen when the Patriots and Salisbury met again in the final game of the regular season.
Providence Grove overcame a rough start, but pulled to within five in the fourth quarter, but the Hornets pulled away for a 69-55 win. It was the 23rd straight win for Salisbury and gave the Hornets an undefeated CCC slate.
After Providence Grove scored the first two buckets of the third quarter to pull to within five, Salisbury went on a 9-0 run midway through to go ahead 49-35.
The Patriots answered with a 9-0 run of their own that, once again, cut the lead to five, but the Hornets responded with 10 unanswered points that gave them a 59-45 lead with just over 5 minutes to play.
Providence Grove pulled to within eight on a Riley Comer shot with 2:23 remaining on the clock, but Salisbury ended the game with a 6-0 run ó four of which came at the free-throw line.
“We got off to a bad start; we had only two baskets in the first quarter,” said Patriots coach Jim Young, who will host an opening-round game in the CCC Tournament on Monday at 7 p.m. as the No. 2 seed. “It’s a long season, so you’re going to have three or four bad games. They put good pressure on us and we just couldn’t finish.”
Comer led the Patriots (16-8, 11-3) with 21 points, while Jordan Smith came off the bench and added 13. Comer pulled down 11 rebounds and Tyler See nabbed 10. Leading scorer Zeb Milliner had just eight points after missing much of the game due to foul trouble.For Salisbury (23-1, 14-0), the No. 1 seed heading into the CCC Tournament, Darien Rankin had 26 points ó 18 in the second half, while Alex Weant added a career-best 16 and Dominique Phillips chipped in 13.
salisbury (69) ó Rankin 26, Weant 16, Phillips 13, Abel 6, Morris 4, Williams 2, Knox 2, F. Williams, Lingard.
providence grove (55) ó Comer 21, Smith 13, See 9, Z. Milliner 8, Johnson 3, Harris 1.
Salisbury 14 18 17 20 ó 69
P. Grove 6 17 18 14 ó 55
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